Jackpot? State college spending and the lottery | Arkansas Blog

Friday, May 25, 2012

Jackpot? State college spending and the lottery

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 6:39 AM

From the Arkansas Constitution's amendment, approved in 2008, authorizing a state lottery:

Lottery proceeds remaining after payment of operating expenses and prizes shall supplement, not supplant, non-lottery educational resources.

From an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article today on the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees:

Four-year universities in the UA System received an average of $7,019 per student in state appropriations in 2008-09, a figure system leaders expect to fall to about $6,100 per student once enrollment figures are finalized for 2011-12.

I know. State support for colleges, in sum, has likely grown because of increased enrollment. A decline in per pupil support on the state's part cannot be directly blamed on a legislator's belief that lottery scholarships have taken up the slack. But the bright line numbers are a telling commentary on state support for higher education. The trend will continue, perhaps exponentially if the teabagging Republicans claim a legislative majority. Which means tuition will continue to grow faster than inflation. Gotta pay those vice chancellors somehow.

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